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GPTA
12-19-2016, 11:49
Most of you probably haven't heard of the Great Plains Trail (http://www.greatplainstrail.org/)... yet. But the GPTA Board of Directors is working to change that.

The Great Plains Trail is a proposed 2200 mile long-distance trail that will run from near the Canadian border all the way down to Guadalupe Peak in Texas. By the time it is finished, it will include at least seven states, five state high points and some of the most iconic & gorgeous scenery in the world.

The trail is proposed to be open to hikers, backpackers, nordic skiers, snowshoers, equestrians and bicyclists; as such, it will be one of the only long-distance trails that is available to such a diverse range of outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers. 2016 was a great year for the Great Plains Trail when Luke (Strider) Jordan completed the very first through-hike of the entire route thus proving that it can be done. Over the years, the route will likely change to take advantage of the best features of the historic Great Plains. But the general trail route has been mapped and the future looks bright.

The Great Plains Trail Alliance (GPTA) would love to hear from other long-distance trail enthusiasts, planners and travelers as we continue to blaze our path into 2017. We want to add the Great Plains Trail to the list of current legendary trails such as the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail, Colorado Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. Feel free to visit the Great Plains Trail website (http://www.greatplainstrail.org/) and/or add your thoughts to this forum. We look forward to reading your suggestions and feedback.

nsherry61
12-19-2016, 12:09
That looks really cool. It goes through some nice areas. I like the idea of a less mountain focused trail.

AfterParty
12-19-2016, 14:04
Looks more like the front range trail then the great plains.

egilbe
12-19-2016, 17:59
Looks more like the front range trail then the great plains.

Should be closer to the Mississippi on either side of the river.

Mags
12-19-2016, 18:28
The Great Plains are very much in Colorado, Wyo, Nebraska etc and not necessarily that close to the Missippi River.

37467

The western portion of the Great (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Plains_(United_States))Plains is (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Plains_(United_States)) known better as the High Plains. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Plains_(United_States))

Just from own travels...



SD:

https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5452/31389427366_a43541a496.jpg


NE:

https://i1.wp.com/c2.staticflickr.com/6/5667/21518153453_a2391b4f66.jpg?zoom=1.125&w=800&ssl=1

WY:
https://scontent-dft4-1.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/e35/15101671_347414302284848_8529141851070922752_n.jpg


CO:


https://i1.wp.com/pmags.com/gallery2/d/23700-1/aak-bw.jpg?zoom=1.125&w=800
NM:

https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1550/26161004671_0f8c73f6d4.jpg


Badlands in SD is a national parks. The Cheyenne, WY is open space on the high plains.. The others are located on National Grasslands.

Engine
12-19-2016, 18:31
I have traveled over much of that terrain in a vehicle and it can be amazingly scenic. This could be a very nice alternative to the other long trails.

burger
12-19-2016, 18:53
Should be closer to the Mississippi on either side of the river.

You could not have a long-distance trail through the plains much further east than the GPT. As you go further east, it's more and more privately owned cropland. Farmers don't like people walking through their wheat and corn fields (and hikers don't enjoy getting sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, either).

Mags
12-19-2016, 19:17
You could not have a long-distance trail through the plains much further east than the GPT.

Good point about the public lands available. Most of the public land is on the High Plains portion of the Great Plains.

AfterParty
12-19-2016, 19:41
This is very true most land around me is private. This would be a sweet trail! I just think the name sounds funny when I looked at the map. Lol

George
12-19-2016, 20:44
doing distance hiking on a trail that allows bicycles does not seem likely to be popular

horses + bicycles = likely safety issues

the best idea to me would be make it a bicycle focused trail that allows hikers

GPTA
12-19-2016, 20:55
Beautiful photos Paul!! Thanks for sharing.

MuddyWaters
12-19-2016, 20:55
Thank goodness it dont go thru Kansas

GPTA
12-19-2016, 21:02
Thanks for all the comments already.

It will be a fantastic trail, but it will take a long time and a lot of work. The GPTA Board is up for the challenge. Hopefully we continue to get lots of public support.

scrabbler
12-19-2016, 21:18
As long you encourage all the horse owners to practice Leave No Trace we'll all be happy.

SkeeterPee
12-19-2016, 21:24
doing distance hiking on a trail that allows bicycles does not seem likely to be popular

horses + bicycles = likely safety issues

the best idea to me would be make it a bicycle focused trail that allows hikers

I was thinking along the same lines. Allowing bicycles on this trail would discourage me from using the trail. We have a lot of multiuse trails locally and the bikes create a lot of thin ruts that make hiking uncomfortable. I couldn't imagine doing 2000 miles of bicycle rutted trails. How do you prevent that from happening, or are you going to be doing constant maintenance moving trail around as it gets rutted?

colorado_rob
12-19-2016, 21:34
Guys, I'm not sure you realize 95% of this trail is really, really out in the middle of nowhere. The only place you'll see people at all, let alone any bikes, is near the NP's and such, and bikes are probably not allowed in the NP's.

(of course, the trail does go right through Denver, along some paved bike trails, so I guess this is an exception, but heck, the trail through Denver is paved, and for that matter, a lot of this particular section has a soft surface path along side the paved bike path)

I could be dead-wrong, but it doesn't seem likely this trail will be popular with bikers.

Lots of very popular trails out west are multi use, like the Colorado trail. Bikes are really not any problem for most, Certainly not on this cool looking remote trail.

Thanks for posting those pics, Mags. The trail doesn't go through any of WY though, which is weird, but I guess western SD is more a high-plains type of area.

Venchka
12-19-2016, 21:52
Y'all may not have seen what concentrated horse traffic can do to what used to be a trail during a wet summer.
I definitely see this trail complementing the GDMBR. I would welcome a trail that I could both ride and hike.
The Guadalupe mountains aren't too shabby either.
Now then, Strider holds the current FKT. Who's next?
Wayne


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colorado_rob
12-19-2016, 22:13
The Guadalupe mountains aren't too shabby either.
No, they are not, not shabby at all. Last spring, I did a 70-miler, starting in Guadalupe, into the Lincoln NF, then over to Carlsbad. Early spring would be a great time of year to do this part of the trail, maybe even late winter, like late February, depending on snow pack.

Mags
12-19-2016, 22:46
The trail doesn't go through any of WY though, which is weird, but I guess western SD is more a high-plains type of area.

That was more to show the High Plains type areas in general vs the people above who thought that the Great Plains were only near the Mississippi. Many people outside of the American West don't realize the terrain of the plains is beyond Kansas and Nebraska. And when they see photos of the Panhandle, the mind is blown. http://whiteblaze.net/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif

Also, I don't think it goes through Denver. The route goes rather east of it. May you be thinking of the American Discovery Trail instead? (http://www.discoverytrail.org/states/colorado/)

37468

Free streaming PBS documentary for if anyone is interested: http://www.pbs.org/program/great-plains/

Shameless plug for something I wrote:
http://www.trailgroove.com/issue25.html?autoflip=119

AfterParty
12-19-2016, 22:57
Kansas isnt what most people think it is either.

Mags
12-19-2016, 22:59
Kansas isnt what most people think it is either.

Some gems there for sure. Just harder to link the public land.

I read about this place recently being opened to the public. Looks cool!
http://www.kansas.com/sports/outdoors/article107863027.html

Not my photo:
37469

colorado_rob
12-19-2016, 22:59
Also, I don't think it goes through Denver. The route goes rather east of it. [URL="http://www.discoverytrail.org/states/colorado/"]May you be thinking of the American Discovery Trail instead?
If you click the map link on the GPT site, it shows the green line going right smack through Denver, perhaps that preliminary or something?

AfterParty
12-19-2016, 23:08
Looks like a road walk on 83 to south of denver the website does say road walks and idk how else your gonna pass Denver and south without road walks. How much of the trail is road walks?

Dogwood
12-19-2016, 23:13
Mags, do you know if the GPT is anticipated to incorporate all of the Maah Daah Hey Tr? It looks like it's heading west right at Teddy Roosevelt NP

Mags
12-19-2016, 23:21
If you click the map link on the GPT site, it shows the green line going right smack through Denver, perhaps that preliminary or something?

Stride (https://www.facebook.com/StriderNCT/posts/1604869916490314)r took the Cherry Creek trail..so looks like you are correct sir.

Looks like I was looking at older route info.

Venchka
12-20-2016, 06:02
Northeast New Mexico.
http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20161220/411bcb818bc71ea6a857771297feb8f2.jpg
Resupply will take some careful thought.
Wayne


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colorado_rob
12-20-2016, 09:32
Yep, the GPT web site talks about much of the trail needing "car support" for both food and water. The heyduke has this issue. The GPT Sounds interesting, nonetheless. Tons of road walking though. Play around with the interactive map. We're giving the pct a try this spring, might do a few hundred on this gpt in February to "warm up".

Venchka
12-20-2016, 10:35
Maybe New Mexico and Texas in February.
Sounds like a fully loaded expedition bike would be perfect. It just so happens that I have a pair of them.
Hmmmmmm.......
Wayne


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MuddyWaters
12-20-2016, 11:37
Yep, the GPT web site talks about much of the trail needing "car support" for both food and water. The heyduke has this issue. The GPT Sounds interesting, nonetheless. Tons of road walking though. Play around with the interactive map. We're giving the pct a try this spring, might do a few hundred on this gpt in February to "warm up".


since its a bike trail, the carts you tie handles to waist and pull all your gear and supplies in , like the guys that walk across asia and S. America, ought to work.

Venchka
12-20-2016, 13:20
since its a bike trail, the carts you tie handles to waist and pull all your gear and supplies in , like the guys that walk across asia and S. America, ought to work.

Except through the National Parks and Wilderness Areas just like the Colorado Trail.
Reading the obligatory scary boiler plate about water is amusing. If everyone followed that advice there would be no backpacking as we know it. A gentleman recently traversed Big Bend NP using found water.
Wayne


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burger
12-20-2016, 14:57
The western portion of the Great (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Plains_(United_States))Plains is (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Plains_(United_States)) known better as the High Plains. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Plains_(United_States))

Ecologically speaking, the route seems to stick to the shortgrass prairie ecosystem, which is the westernmost of the three divisions of the Great Plains (mixed-grass and tallgrass prairie are farther east). See the map here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortgrass_prairie

OldUncleJoe
12-20-2016, 22:29
Glad to see some interest here in the GPT! This is Steve Myers writing (trail name Old Uncle Joe) - I'm the founder and creator of the nascent GPT. My guess is that many here are most accustomed to the AT or PCT in terms of amenities, percentage of trail etc. It should be noted that the GPT, by necessity, is a totally different animal. Private land abounds and true trail miles are fewer and further between. That said, there is a huge potential to create more trail as the process moves along.

One question in this thread is whether or not the trail goes though Denver. The short answer for the short term is yes. We are appropriating Castle Rock Canyon State Park and Cherry Creek trail as temporary ways to connect the trail to more far flung destinations. In the future (10 years?), it will likely be able to pass significantly east of Denver, but that depends on funding and some luck.

Thanks for tuning in. It's very much a work in progress, but as Mags noted above (thanks for the photos!), the beauty is something that most Americans ignore. It's not anyone's fault. Conventional wisdom has it as flat, dull and unworthy. Nothing could be further from the truth.

OldUncleJoe
12-20-2016, 22:32
. . . sorry . . . Castlewood Canyon State Park.

rotorbrent
12-21-2016, 00:14
I live in the Tx NM region know it well. Its big oil areas dodging all the oil fracking water trucks 24/7 with all the road miles will be interesting

aztarheel
05-13-2017, 03:41
-I am not sure where you guys are at in terms of specific trail location or if you are still modifying it but they just designated a 100 mile stretch of connected trails from Carlsbad Caverns to Guadalupe Peak as the "Guadalupe Ridge Trail". I couldn't really tell from the map on your website if the GPT already covers this exact path so wanted to bring it to your attention if it helps with anything.

-Guadalupe Ridge Trail Link: http://guadaluperidgetrail.com/
-Local News Article: http://www.currentargus.com/story/news/local/2017/05/05/100-miles-adventure/101215946/

-Re: mountain bikers. This shouldn't be any more of a problem than it is on the AZT, CDT, and CT which I think all allow bikes.
-And horses? Other than this one guy I met riding a horse from El Paso to Phoenix (pretty sure he was evading a crazy ex or the law) I've never heard of a thru-horseback rider. I bet it would be an awesome trip though.

burger
05-13-2017, 11:08
-Re: mountain bikers. This shouldn't be any more of a problem than it is on the AZT, CDT, and CT which I think all allow bikes.
Not true. There are sections of the CDT that are open to bikes, but there are hundreds and hundreds of miles in wilderness areas and National Parks that are not open to bikes. You could not possibly "thru-bike" the CDT legally. Not even close.

The CT is only partially open to bikes--not in the wilderness areas. Some of the sections of the CT that are open to bikes were really annyoing to hike because there were so many bikers.

Venchka
05-13-2017, 11:19
Thank goodness that the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route exists.
The 2017 Tour Divide is just around the corner.
Wayne


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TX Aggie
05-13-2017, 13:47
Looks great, but obviously a lot of work (and years) left before this becomes a really viable thru trail. The largest concern being the vehicle support requirement.


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lonehiker
05-13-2017, 14:06
Looks as if I've already began section hiking this trail and wasn't even aware of it. I've done the Maah Daah Hey as well as the Mick/Centennial trails. My gut tells me that I'd be more apt to bike this than to hike it though. Maybe gives me a reason to take up bike packing.

GPTA
01-06-2020, 11:31
For those of you who haven't been following the latest Great Plains Trail news (and who isn't (-:?), we now have our first OFFICIAL section of dedicated trail finished and signposted thanks to some amazing help, cooperation & coordination from incredible Forest Service employees. You will begin seeing more and more of these signs over the next few years
46031

George
01-06-2020, 21:11
As long you encourage all the horse owners to practice Leave No Trace we'll all be happy.

nice fantasy

George
01-06-2020, 21:17
Good point about the public lands available. Most of the public land is on the High Plains portion of the Great Plains.

natural trail name for this: high plains drifter

colorado_rob
01-06-2020, 23:26
-I am not sure where you guys are at in terms of specific trail location or if you are still modifying it but they just designated a 100 mile stretch of connected trails from Carlsbad Caverns to Guadalupe Peak as the "Guadalupe Ridge Trail". I couldn't really tell from the map on your website if the GPT already covers this exact path so wanted to bring it to your attention if it helps with anything.

-Guadalupe Ridge Trail Link: http://guadaluperidgetrail.com/
-Local News Article: http://www.currentargus.com/story/news/local/2017/05/05/100-miles-adventure/101215946/
. If you read that article linked in your post, there's this paragraph:

"Last April, a hiking group from Colorado "tested out" the trail, taking six days to hike from Guadalupe Peak to the Caverns. They omitted the loop that takes hikers to Lincoln National Forest."

That was me and 4 pals. Pretty cool trail we followed, though the final version varied a bit from what we scoped out. Pic below shows the 5 of us at the start of the GRT, the summit of Guadalupe peak.

Anyway, I'm excited about this new Great Plains trail, but I agree, parts of it will be best done on a bike.

I'm actually heading down to TX/NM to re-hike the GRT, or at least a loop version of it, next week. We'll see how that pans out.